How do you deal with the diverse networks you encounter in the enterprise when you’re architecting a delivery strategy?
The first step is you need to understand the existing landscape in tbe enterprise, a sort of audit, if you will, of what’s there and where you want to get to in terms of the video delivery. For instance, do you have existing infrastructure you want to leverage? We have some customers that have been multicasting since the Windows Media days, and they want to continue to leverage those investments. That’s where Ramp and the HTML5 multicasting shine. So that’s the first big piece, understanding where you are today and where you want to go.
Next is the organizational structure of the network group, the IT department, if you will. Some of those departments are very strong on desktop management and so very comfortable deploying agents that might help with multicasting or peer-to-peer delivery. IT departments in other companies may be far more comfortable with server management and would prefer to manage servers that do edge caching, things like that. So, the culture of your company is important.
And then when it comes to solutions and where you want to get to, you really need to build in flexibility—support for a wide variety of video formats, the ability to distribute video to a wide variety of locations, and the flexibility to fail over, even between formats, as a part of your video strategy. Your strategy needs to be able to scale. You might open a new office or do an acquisition, and you need to have flexibility both horizontally across the network as well as vertically within each location.
It’s not uncommon to have a lot of diversity within a corporate network. Most enterprises use a combination of different types of delivery mechanisms that work together as a common streaming infrastructure. For example, you can have multicast for those people who are on a multicast-enabled part of the network. Then you can have an intelligent caching solution for those individuals that are not on multicast or for viewing devices on which you need to avoid installing software. Or maybe you have some viewers on a Citrix environment using thin clients. You are most flexible when your strategy supports diversity—viewing devices, delivery protocols, access locations, and streaming platforms—both today and in the future.
From the Streaming Media webinar Content Delivery Challenges in a New Era.